From the brilliant John Pavlovitz.
In a land where the states are united, they claim,
in a sky-scraping tower affixed with his name,
Lived a terrible, horrible, devious chump,
the bright orange-colored miscreant known as the Trump.
This Trump he was mean, such a mean little man,
with the tiniest heart and two tinier hands,
and a thin set of lips etched in permanent curl,
and a sneer and a scowl and contempt for the world.
He looked down from his perch and he grinned ear to ear,
and he thought, “I could steal the election this year!
Why it’d be rather simple, it’s so easily won,
I’ll just make them believe that their best days are done!
Yes, I’ll make them believe that it’s all gone to Hell,
and I’ll be Jerk Messiah and their souls they will sell.
And I’ll use lots of words disconnected from truth,
but I’ll say them with style so they won’t ask for proof.
I’ll toss out random platitudes, phrases, and such,
They’re so raised on fake news that it won’t matter much!
They won’t question the how to, the what, why, or when,
I will make their America great once again!”
The Trump told them to fear, they should fear he would say,
“They’ve all come for your jobs, they’ll all take them away.
You should fear every Muslim and Mexican too,
every brown, black, and tan one, everyone who votes blue.”
And he fooled all the Christians, he fooled them indeed,
He just trotted out Jesus, that’s all Jesus folk need.
And celebrity preachers they all crowned him as king,
Tripping over themselves just to kiss the Trump’s ring.
And he spoke only lies just as if they were true,
Until they believed all of those lies were true too.
He repeated and Tweeted and he blustered and spit,
And he mislead and fibbed—and he just made up shit.
And the media laughed but they printed each line,
thinking “He’ll never will win, in the end we’ll be fine.”
So they chased every headline, bold typed every claim,
‘Till the fake news and real news they looked just the same.
And the scared folk who listened, they devoured each word,
Yes, they ate it all up every word that they heard,
petrified that their freedom was under attack,
trusting Trump he would take their America back.
From the gays and from ISIS, he’d take it all back,
Take it back from the Democrats, fat cats, and blacks.
And so hook, line, and sinker they all took the bait,
all his lies about making America great.
And the Pantsuited One she was smart and prepared,
she was brilliant and steady but none of them cared,
no they cared not to see all the work that she’d done,
or the fact they the Trump had not yet done thing one.
They could only shout “Emails!”, yes “Emails!” they’d shout,
because Fox News had told them—and Fox News had clout.
And the Pantsuited One she was slandered no end,
and a lie became truth she could never defend.
And the Trump watched it all go according to plan—
a strong woman eclipsed by an insecure man.
And November the 8th arrived, finally it came,
like a slow-moving storm but it came just the same.
And Tuesday became Wednesday as those days will do,
And the night turned to morning and the nightmare came true,
With millions of non-voters still in their beds,
Yes, the Trump he had done it, just like he had said.
And the Trumpers they trumped, how they trumped when he won,
All the racists and bigots; deplorable ones,
they crawled out of the woodwork, came out to raise Hell,
they came out to be hateful and hurtful as well.
With slurs and with road signs, with spray paint and Tweets,
with death threats to neighbors and with taunts on the street.
And the grossest of grossness they hurled on their peers,
while the Trump he said zilch—for the first time in years.
But he Tweeted at Hamilton, he Tweeted the Times,
And he trolled Alec Baldwin a few hundred times,
and he pouted a pout like a petulant kid,
thinking this is what Presidents actually did,
thinking he could still be a perpetual jerk,
terrified to learn he had to actually work,
work for every American, not just for a few,
not just for the white ones—there was much more to do.
He now worked for the Muslims and Mexicans too,
for the brown, black, and tan ones, and the ones who vote blue.
They were all now his bosses, now they all had a say,
and those nasty pantsuited ones were here to stay.
And the Trump he soon realized that he didn’t win,
He had gotten the thing—and the thing now had him.
And it turned out the Trump was a little too late,
for America was already more than quite great,
not because of the sameness, the opposite’s true,
It’s greatness far more than just red, white, and blue,
It’s straight, gay, and female—it’s Gentile and Jew,
It’s Transgender and Christian and Atheist too.
It’s Muslims and immigrants and refugees,
It’s Liberals with bleeding hearts fixed to their sleeves.
And we are all staying, we’re staying right here,
and we’ll be the great bane of the Trump for four years.
And we’ll be twice as loud as the loudness of hate,
be the greatness that makes our America great.
And the Trump’s loudest boasts they won’t ever obscure,
over two million more of us—voted for her.
I have several good friends, dear friends, who are still undecided about who to vote for next month. I will never, ever forsake a friendship over politics. My friends are too valuable to me to discard over a principled agreement.
That said: indirectly supporting Trump by sitting out the election is the same as intentionally supporting him. This is no longer a principled agreement. I understand wanting to vote your conscience. But I don’t understand how your conscience will leave you alone if you don’t do everything you can to prevent him from becoming President.
“Sir… do you remember the 2016 election?”
“Yeah, I do.” (shuffles awkwardly) “I… I sat that one out.”
“You mean… you could have helped prevent THIS… and you DIDN’T?”
That is all.
Sometime on Wednesday. Just twenty-nine days earlier, it hit 58,000.
* snif *
A couple was in a busy shopping center just before Christmas. The wife suddenly noticed that her husband was missing. And since they had a lot to do and very little time to do it in, she called him on her cellphone.
The husband answered. “Hello, dear.”
“Where are you?” she asked. “You know we have lots to do.”
“Darling,” he said, “do you remember the jewelers shop we went into about ten years ago? Where you fell in love with that diamond necklace?”
She gasped. “Why… yes… I do.”
He continued. “I could not afford it at the time, but I said that one day I would get it for you? Do you remember that shop?”
Little tears started to flow down her cheek, and she got all choked up. “Yes, I do remember that shop,” she gasped.
“Well,” he said, “I’m in the bar right next to it.”
* snif *
A follow up to this post from the other day.
You’ve got a chemistry class
I want a piece of your mind
You don’t know what you started
When you mixed it up with mine
Are you ready for the final solution?
– Elvis Costello
The human brain is wired to seek connection with others in order to increase the chances of survival. It has a biological reward/punishment system. Through hormones and neurotransmitters like endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, it rewards us by giving us pleasure any time we do something which is essential for the survival of the individual and the species. The same system punishes us with pain if we do something which is potentially not useful for the individual and the species. Without this system we would be merciless creatures, and we’d end up killing each other until only one of us survived.
Love is part of this reward/punishment system. Its evolutionary purpose is to keep two individuals together long enough to guarantee pregnancy to happen, and care for the child long enough for the child to survive. Love is an organic, biological, wildly irrational (though pleasurable) psychosis. It creates a temporary biochemical reaction in your brain rendering you very happy, stupid, and nonsensical.
Feels nice, right? Sure. But still, things often go the other way. The chemical reaction becomes most pronounced in its breach.
Being dumped actually heightens the phenomenon of passionate love in the brain circuits of both men and women. That brain region desperately, hungrily seeks the loved one. Withdrawal, as if weaning from a drug, takes over. The exhilarating expansion of the self that happened rapidly during the romantic-rush state of love is now in a painful retraction. It may be that the “brain pain” of lost love evolved as a physical alarm to alert us to the dangers of social separation. Pain captures our attention, disrupts our behavior, and motivates us to ensure our safety and end our suffering. Given the importance for human survival of finding a mate, reproducing, and gaining food, nurturing, and protection, the pain of loss and rejection is likely hardwired in our brains so we’ll avoid it – or at least move on quickly to another mate, who’ll sweep us off our feet on a new, rapturous dopamine- and oxytocin-intoxicated high.- Louann Brizendine, MD
So what can be done about this? Find something in your life with meaning. Perhaps you don’t believe you have a purpose and that life has no meaning. Doesn’t matter. Not believing that you have a purpose won’t prevent you from discovering it, just as a lack of belief in gravity won’t prevent you from dropping and breaking stuff. (“I said UP, dammit…..!”) All disbelief will do is make it take longer to discover yours.
Nature abhors a vacuum. If you have no great focus or meaning to your life, that’s what the other person becomes. If all there is in your life is “pay the bills” or “graduate college,” then of course you’re going to fall into the pit of being vulnerable to another person. But this is very important: she’s not going to be in your life forever. In the modern era all relationships are temporary, and that includes marriage.
So enjoy the good feelings of love. Good feelings are what life is all about. But the minute you start compromising on the focus or meaning in your life, understand that you’re placing the future of your life at risk for a few squirts of chemicals in your brain.
The thing about getting mind-fucked is that you only let it happen once. – Vicomte
(This has been a mashup of excerpts from blog posts I stumbled upon, a synthesis of many great thoughts. Props to Blackdragon; Steve Pavlina; Franco; George, Brad, and Dex; Donlak; and Victor Pride for fueling this.)